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I sent the final proof back and

I also sent in this publicity photo. Cool, huh? My editor loved it. She says that she sent it right over to the publicity people because it was so EXCELLENT. The photographer is Kevin Winzeler. See his stuff at kevinwinzeler.com.  She also said the next step for Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone is the binding. I guess the copies she sent out earlier are not the advanced reader copies, but just the text that she sent out to a couple of special readers. One of them was kind enough to email me and say he would try to read it, but he's kind of swamped right now. For instance, one of his books just hit the New York Times bestseller list. Congratulations to him. He deserves it. If he says something nice about my book I might even tell who he is. 

Sad, but true, I just had another great idea for a book. Now if I only had time to write.

Write to ride and ride to write

Writing Tip--Theater as Inspiration

I just got back from the Cedar City, Utah Shakespeare Festival where I had a fantastic time seeing professional theater. The downside was that I only got to see two plays: Fiddler on the Roof and Taming of the Shrew. Fiddler was a good production. The acting was good. The costumes were good. The set was good. The only trouble was that it was a typical production of that play. The only innovative thing in the play was the actor who played Lazer Wolf. He injected life into his part and was definitely not like the movie. The other production, however, was fantastic. They took the original Sheakespeare play of Taming of the Shrew and set it in 1946 Italy. The father with the two daughters is pretty well off with his restaurant and land. Petrucchio, who tames the shrew, was a U.S. Army captain who is a con artist. One of the suitors for Bianca, the younger daughter, is the son of an American mob boss who has come back to Italy to visit "the family." They played Frank Sinatra music and did a lot of other period things with the fantastic set and the way cool costumes. The freshness of this version of a play hundreds of years old also allowed the actors to throw themselves into their parts, with delightful results. The audience was on its feet cheering and clapping as soon as the play was finished.

So, how is seeing these plays inspiration for writing? For one thing, it is a demonstration of a principle of good writing--giving your characters enough fresh quirkiness so that they can really shine and then that energy moves your story along with zing that engages the reader. It is often said that there are only so many stories in the world and I suppose that is true to a point. However, the way those stories are presented can always be innovative and full of personality.
Write to ride and ride to write

Advance Reader Copies Are Out!!

I just heard from one of my author friends that he received an ARC (advance reader copy) of my ET1 book. Wahoo! That means that people may actually read my book--people who may also make some kind of comment that could end up as a blurb on the back cover. Cool. Of course, they may not like my book and may say something awful. Not cool. I hope the publisher doesn't let me see the bad ones. I also hope that there are enough good comments to have for the back cover. I'll end on that more hopeful note.
Write to ride and ride to write

Writing and weddings

Writing and weddings--putting the two  together is an oxymoron. Writing does not happen when the writer's daughter is getting married. I finished chapter 15 of ET2 last week and haven't written a thing since. I have worked on the cake and decorations and the going away dress and gone with my daughter to get the wedding dress fitted and to have bridal pictures taken. That part was worth every minute spent. The bridal pictures are absolutely breathtaking. We chose a park with all kinds of pseudo Greek temples and interesting topography to have the pictures in and the effects are stunning--not to mention that my daughter is stunning as well. Sigh. As much as I'm excited for her, I guess that means my girl is leaving. The groom is every mother's dream of a groom, but he is going to graduate school clear across the country. Unfortunately, that means my daughter is going clear across the country as well. I'll miss her. Maybe I'll have to drown my sorrows in writing.
Write to ride and ride to write

Cover art is so cool

I just spent the day emailing my editor back and forth over cover art for the first book of Entomological Tales. The artwork is so cool. Jen Corace is the artist and she's also provided little bug pictures to use inside the book for things like chapter headings and breaks in the text. I laugh every time I see what she did. We also discussed a different name for the first book. It was The Doomed Dame, but it looks like it might be Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone. We're negotiating on the Nearly.
Write to ride and ride to write

Chapter Thirteen--Will it be lucky?

Started on chapter thirteen today. WIll it be lucky or not? I had a brainstorm about Poffy and Boggie. They join Petronella's group after a night out, as they put it, "assisting the local constabulary to gain a sense of humor." Lots of possibilities there. A few are running around in my head as I write that make me laugh and could work into the plot quite nicely. Hope it is a lucky chapter with lots of fun.
Write to ride and ride to write

Secret Agent Man

The agent wants to wait until the I finish the book before committing, but he gave me some good comments. Sigh. I guess I just need to do the work and maybe something good will come of it.  At least I'm up to chapter twelve. Wish me luck
Write to ride and ride to write

Agent watch

I was just contacted by an agent who wants to see a synopsis and sample chapters. Cool! He's a good agent, too, so I'm excited. I'll let you know if it happens.
Write to ride and ride to write
Does it ever feel good to finish another chapter. Poor James. He has quite the shock in Chapter Eight. Now for Chapter Nine--in which some clues are found.

However, I am humbled by my daughter. I thought this chapter was so funny, I had to read it to her. She didn't laugh, except for a chuckle in one place. Sigh. That's the danger of thinking anything I write is funny. What a letdown, although I still think it is at least amusing. So there.
Write to ride and ride to write
There are days when writing creates energy and I can't get enough of it. I can write for 10 to 14 hours at a time and the words just flow. Then there are other days. On those days I can't seem to get more than a couple of words down. I stew and stew and nothing comes. I can't seem to do a thing. One of the things that helps break the tension is a motorcycle ride. I don't hook up to radio or music--I just ride. Out there with just me and my bike, I ride for an hour or several, but the result is always a sense of contentment and then I can get back to writing. Sometimes while I ride it even helps to try to hash out something that's bothering me about what I'm trying to write. Just me and the bike and this beautiful country, baby.
Write to ride and ride to write


Me and my baby

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October 2008